Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Devil Wears A Onesie

*Before you bombard me ~ I am aware I spelled hideous incorrectly.
I nevir spel things rong so leev me alone.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

All the little chicks with their crimson lips Go "Cleveland Rocks!","Cleveland Rocks!"

Remember that song? From the Drew Carey show? :)

In a few days, the four of us are flying to Cleveland to spend a week at Terry's sister Missy's house for the July 4th holiday/Big family reunion. All of Terry's 7 siblings live in Ohio, so we are the only ones coming in from another state. His sister and her family live in Chagrin Falls, a beautiful, small town outside Cleveland. I just hopped onto and sweet Jesus it will be like no where near 100 degrees during the day. Goodness gracious! What shall we do with ourselves? Actually go outside? You mean we won't be prisoners in our own home peering out from the blinds day dreaming what it would be like to not have the first layer of skin melt off the moment we step outside? Our children will be so confused, playing and not having their mother douse them with piercing streams of water from a spray bottle to maintain an adequate temperature and hydration within their tiny bodies! Thrilling!

Missy is married to Andy... Nick, Tim and Dominic are their 3 teenage boys. Uh, can you imagine the level of testosterone and amount of raging hormones in that house? How does one woman handle all of that? Oh, two male dogs too. Eeek.

We received a fun little flier in the mail a bit ago from Missy, one she sent to all of her siblings regarding the big reunion. Terry is younger than Missy, and the youngest of 8 children. Needless to say, there will be quite a crowd in her house. Luckily they have a very spacious home on several acres and no one will get in anyone else's way. Terry's mother, Rosemary, has 13 grandchildren, and I know she is very pleased all of them will be attending! Ava hasn't seen her cousins in a couple of years, and Grace has never met any of them! The last time we visited was December 2006 - Ava was 14 months old, and I was 6 months pregnant with Grace. One of Ava's cousins, Ella, is exactly Ava's age and I can't wait for them to play together again!

Alas, I am reminded of Jon & Kate + 8 and tell myself we are flying with only 2 children and this flight should be a breeze. But then I remember Grace is one of those two children. We believe Grace might have been given the wrong name. She isn't very 'graceful' if you get my drift. I dearly love my child ~ don't get me wrong ~ but she just might be one of the devil's little helpers. She can be wild, a bully, ornery and stubborn. BUT adorable. If she wasn't adorable, we might have a problem. Here you see the predicament we could find ourselves in on our non-stop flight that lasts 2 1/2 hours. I could shoot her in the neck with a tranquilizer dart, but along with the 3 to 5 hours of unconsciousness - would come a hefty prison term. I think I will just let her be... and if she's a terror than I pity the poor soul who has the seat in front of, or in back of us. Or 4 rows within the vicinity of us. The flight is during nap time so I think she will pass out after she gets over the initial excitement of this plane is neat and oh lookie! the table folds down, and watch me open and shut and open and shut and open and shut the window blind...and why again mommy won't you let me walk around? Oh dear, please sleep child. Please sleep.

You're lucky you're adorable you little toot.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Nerd Powers Activate! Welcome to Book Club!

Oh hush, I'm not a nerd. Well ~ If reading and expanding my knowledge base makes me a nerd, then I guess I'm a big 'ol nerd! I didn't have time to read April or May's books, but I still attended the happy hour, (book club meeting) to show my support and intense involvement within the group. That's just the type of person I am. I'm very dedicated.

I did however read June's book. GOOOOOOO ME. But, I forgot to publish the post I created after I returned from happy hour (book club meeting) with the girls last week, I found it sitting there sad and embarrassed it had been stuck in draft mode for so long. I would have a picture to post... but SOMEONE wouldn't let me take one. Here you go.

Back in the day before two children under 3 years old, I read a lot. A whole lot. Now I'm lucky to read a magazine from front to back. How pathetic! Disappearing into a book makes me happy.

June's book was Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. While I was at Target trying to browse the some what cute swim suits, fun earrings and new make-up without buying any of it I found the book on the shelf, picked it up and promptly flipped it over to read the back. Ewww. I was not impressed. In fact, I firmly tossed the book in the basket, whipped the cart around, and stormed off causing Grace to grip the bar with both hands and try her best to not topple over. Poor thing. A few days later I plopped down on the couch while the girls were napping, let me rephrase that. Grace was napping. Ava was laying sideways on her bed kicking the wall and singing. I opened the book and after the first few pages, I was not sure how I ever turned my nose up at the summary I had read in the first place! Great book, I found myself running to Google things to see if they were fact or fiction... So did most of the other girls, cuz this stuff was insane!!!

The book spoke of foot binding, the old Chinese tradition where young girls - 7 or 8 - were forced to break all of their toes *except the big one* and bind them underneath the sole of their foot with bandages, in the end making their feet inches long by the time they were full grown. Yes. INCHES. EEK! No peep toe pumps for them!

I just read the intro to the July selection, and I'm off to purchase it. Don't worry, I will blab on and on about that book next month... come back then, I know the suspense is overwhelming.

p.s. go read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. It's fab.

Weekend With Raymond & Debbie

We left Friday afternoon for Arlington with the girls. Our friends Raymond & Debbie have built a new home and they invited us up for a weekend at their place. Terry met Raymond in the car business yearrrrrs ago, and I love his wife Debbie to bits. She is a total rock star in the kitchen, laughs at every single thing I say, and would do anything for anybody. Just a doll. I had an appendectomy in January and she called to inform us she was coming into town to take care of me and the girls for the week since Terry would be working. She's a doll, love love her. I love you too Raymond, just not as much as Deb. :)

After arriving into town, we took the grand tour of their beautiful hizzie then we all changed and ventured to the pool. Ava is a total tadpole and loves to swim. Grace enjoys forcefully flailing her head backwards into the water...usually with no warning and it scares the crap out of whoever is holding her. Little turd! Everyone enjoyed cooling off, it was 99 degrees Friday afternoon, and the pool was our saving grace! The pool is salt water... I have read about these pools and seen a few, but never actually went swimming in one. We were impressed, the benefits right off the bat were very noticeable. No chlorine smell, no eye burning when you open under water (it's nothing like sea water, I know what you're thinking) no dry skin after you get out, we loved it! I was expecting to jump in and taste the salt, but you'd never know it was there. Way Cool!

This is Guinness, black and tan like the beer

Ava played with the water thermometer for an hour... whatever floats your boat!

Raymond and Debbie, how cute are they?!

Dinner rolled around and the girls were exhausted. Debbie was so thoughtful and had a birthday cupcake prepared for Terry, she lit the candle and we all sang. Ava loved it, and loved stealing finger tips of frosting even more. The girls played around the house for a while, the foyer is very large and they got a kick out of running back and forth from the front door.

As expected, the girls went to sleep without a peep. So....... we took advantage of our free 'adult' time and went back out to the pool after dinner. ;) Debbie fixed some fabulous coffee-tini's and brought them and yummy dessert outside, now we were ready to goof off...

I'd never had a coffee-tini ~ they are surprisingly lite and mucho tasty.

Raymond hid behind a bush and snapped our pic (check out the top right of the picture, you can see the cats eyes glowing inside the house!!!)

I kicked Terry in the face about 3 times doing this move...

Saturday afternoon we ate lunch on the back patio and played in the pool.

Gracie liked the waterfall, she tried to climb over the top

Nestea plunge! Front AND back!

Little Ava has come a lonnng way in the pool!

She has it down now :)

Ava made sure Guinness had easy access to her toys

Later that afternoon we all took the kids to a park around the corner from their house. It was 100% shaded, and in the crazy heat, that helped.

Terry and I were pumped for multiple reasons about visiting Raymond and Debbie, but one major excitement for us was because Debbie will make like a 4 course meal and say she just 'whipped something up.' Even simple dishes are turned into beautiful, flavorful masterpieces! Her cooking is phenomenal and we knew we would eat like Kings and Queens, and DID WE EVER! Of course I took pictures of it all, you know me, that's what I do. :) Here's a taste of what we had over the weekend...

The visit was wonderful and we can't wait to come back again! Love you guys!

Friday, June 20, 2008

June 20th! Happy Birthday Terry!

We are headin for the BIG D... and I don't mean Dallas. I mean Arlington.
This morning we are hittin' the road to enjoy a long weekend with friends!

Today is Terry's Birthday too! Double the fun!

He cracks me up.

Have a fab weekend :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Look! No Batteries!

I have a suspicion Ava's preschool teacher thinks I'm a total bitch. I was in Ava's classroom getting her things together to head home this afternoon, and I opened up her backpack to make sure her favorite cup was inside. The cup was inside alright. So was a frickin' hand held tape recorder. My mind flooded with terrible thoughts... like that crazy mom on the news a while back who turned out to be not-so-crazy after the tape recorder she placed in her daughter's backpack recorded her teacher cussing and verbally abusing her daughter ...but I wasn't trying to record anyone - Ava plays with it here at home and must have stuck it in her pack for some reason. Maybe she wanted to do a little Q & A session with her friends on the playground, who knows. Anyway, assuming her teacher found it when she was digging in Ava's bag for a pull-up I felt obligated to run to her and explain I wasn't a weirdo and it somehow just ended up in there and LOOK! there's not even any batteries! She wasn't amused. She can't think it was for real! Right? If Ava somehow disappears off the enrollment list, I think I'll know why.

Monday, June 16, 2008

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Tilapia

Sunday evenings are very predicable around here. The girls are in bed by 745 and once it's quiet in the house Terry uncorks white wine then makes his famous Tilapia dish for us. It's so frickin fabulous I could eat it every darned day of the week. He places Tilapia fillets on heavy-duty foil, dabs real butter on top, then tops with sliced squash, cherry tomatoes, green onion, lemon pepper, grated parmesan and lots of sea salt/pepper. He wraps all of that up tight as a drum, and the grill does the rest of the work. It's the most fab dish in my opinion, my fav are the cherry tomatoes that have kind of popped from the heat and are just too delicious for words.

BUT.... last night we were craving fish tacos. So we found a 30 Minute Meal - Rachel Ray recipe and holy moly it just might have blown Terry's other tilapia dish out of the water. No pun intended. You know you want the recipe, so go try it out!! We made a few substitutions for our own taste, using wheat tortillas instead of lettuce leaves (hers was low carb) and we added slaw for that much needed crunch... Tastamundo!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Whole Or Half A Brain?

Dear Lord. I've done something terrible. I am, however, remorseful. My action has severe consequences. I'm experiencing those consequences as I type.

Scenario: I crave a snack. I meander to the kitchen and open the door to my pantry. A billion options hit me in the face. Muffins. Cookies. Breakfast bars. 3 minute mac-n-cheese. Raisins.
No, none of this will do. I need my Frosted Flakes. I understand morning has passed, that fact doesn't deter me from pouring a large quantity of flakes into a bowl. I meander to the fridge. It is at this moment I realize this morning when I hauled the girls to HEB because we were out of milk, I ended up coming home with $50 worth of groceries and totally forgot about the milk I drove there for in the first place. *dammit* I have a beautiful bowl of fresh, crispy frosted flakes waiting patiently to be devoured. My eyes meet the large bottle of unopened half and half on the top shelf. It is at this precise moment I make my terrible mistake. I grab the bottle of half and half, tear off the foil lid and fill my bowl. I head to the bar and pop a squat on the bar stool. Using half and half might seem weird to you, but growing up my grandmother put half and half in my cereal as well as drowned my oatmeal with it every morning for breakfast. My body was used to it. WHEN I WAS 7 YEARS OLD. Assuming that all would be well, I ate my cereal pretending nothing was strange and that I would get used to the ultra creaminess of it all. I never got used to it, but I did in fact finish the bowl because I'm a complete fucking idiot. HOLY SHIT. I am now in half and half hell. Do you know what ingesting like 8 ounces of half and half will do to a persons body who is no longer 7 years old and not used to it????????
This post will not include pictures. I won't do that to you. Use your imagination.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Donuts With Daddy

Ava had Muffins With Me in May, and now she's had her Donuts With Daddy... I was excited this morning because 1. Ava was thrilled showing her daddy around and 2. donuts are my fav, and omg I love donut holes even more. You can cram like 5 in your mouth at one time and, um... I mean aren't they so cute and little?

The table in her classroom was all decked out and prepared for the arrival of the Daddy's. Grace ran around like a crazy baby - again - going ballistic since she's usually only in Ava's classroom no longer than 11 seconds, or as long as it takes me to hang up her backpack and shove her lunch into a cubby hole and get the hell out before she shoves herself off of my hip and into all the toys that was a total run-on sentence however this is not a grammar blog so hush.

Yay for Donuts With Daddy!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sun and Sand

According to my favorite weather man Mark Murray (he's not as dramatic as Jim Spencer, who shits his pants on live TV when there's heavy rain) if it hits 100 degrees today, that will mark the 9th day of triple digits. I didn't realize it was so hot out lately, I suppose I'm used to it. Gotta love Texas. After the girls woke up this morning, I rushed to get them fed and to the park before the playground equipment spontaneously combusted. Ava thought her baby needed some fresh air coupled with dirt on her face and sand in her outfit, so she tagged along. We stopped for a picture then continued on our way.

Once at the park, the girls made a bee line for the sand. Sand is a total magnet for my kids. Sand is their BFF. Sand is not my BFF. Sand ruins my pedicure and chips my pink polish, and makes me dirty and dusty. Sand follows me home and ends up all over my changing table, carpet, and in my eyes after flinging itself out of a sock. Sand is only fun if there is an ocean nearby and I'm in a bikini under an umbrella sipping a fruity alcoholic beverage thru a curly straw.

Grace is either hula dancing or judging by the grimace on her face, the sand disgusts her.

This kids gonna bite the heads off of her Barbies'.

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Just Us Girlies

Earlier tonight, I met Annemarie at Toni's house for some girl time! YAY for girls. Pizza, drinks, and laughs... perfect for a Monday night! It seems Annemarie is on a flippin' United States tour for her job, every other week she's gone having fun somewhere. The little brat. Then poor Toni is headed Brazil all next week for work. For the SECOND time. Poop on the both of you. I haven't been more than 1 hour away from my neighborhood in ages. All of the fun and pictures and exciting and different stories of your travels... everyone is jealous. We just don't tell you that cuz then we look sad and pathetic. And I'm not sad and pathetic. If I want to travel I will jump in my car and peel out of the driveway and not look back! To Bastrop or something, don't dare me, cuz I WILL DO IT. THEN who will have fun pictures and stories to tell??? Mmm hmm, that's right.

I lost track of why I clicked on Create Post. Right, pizza and drinks with my girls. Tonight was lots of fun! We were in Toni's backyard for a while, trying to get the 'jump' pic, and um... after ankle spraining, strained backs, and hysteria, we opted to leave the 'jump' try alone. We settled for some normal shots.

Um, Toni? Why so shy?!

That's better :)

Annemarie and I had the bright idea of scaling one of Toni's trees to monkey around. After a less than graceful decent down, I have bark where no woman should have bark. I hate that f*&%!*g tree.

Vanilla Bean ice cream, peanuts, choco syrup and strawbellies! NUM!

Great fun ladies! The sleepover is next, right?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Speckled Frickles

As my daughter, Ava will one day be the proud owner of a face sprinkled with freckles. I just didn't realize that one day was here! How cute is that! I pulled into the driveway yesterday and walked around the car to get her out, and what do I see? A patch of itty bitty baby frecks sitting upon her itty bitty baby nose. I see freckles that were not there before. She points to them now referring to them as her 'frickles'. Joey has been introduced to them, Slippers has had her whole head pulled towards the frickles, Grace is told she is too little to have frickles. Frickles are for big girls, and frickles are fun.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I'm DYE-ing To Know, Is It Just Hype?

We control every piece of food our children put into their mouths. In 3 or 5 years from now, that won't happen. Kids eat things at school, friends houses, birthday parties, so on... But right now me and Terry know exactly what our kiddos eat everyday. Every time I turn on the TV I hear this news of American manufacturers banning food dyes they put in foods that are imported to Europe. Britain bans these food dyes from their food. BANS THEM. That tells me something. I watched GMA yesterday and there is a list of 8 food dyes that are a concern. These food dyes have (in certain studies) shown to increase a child's excitability and alter behavior. The GMA piece showed a mom with a 9 year old, she omitted food from her sons diet that contained these dyes and it immediately changed the behavior of her child. CRAZY! At least there's proof it doesn't alter behavior long-term, kids would be in big trouble!

I walked directly into my kitchen and opened the pantry. Here are the foods I found that contain one or more of those 8 dyes...

*'Colors' goldfish
*Fruit loops (I eat those) Thank God Do Do Dora cereal doesn't contain these dyes, Ava would go ape shat if I took this cereal away.
*Kraft Mac-N-Cheese
*Pop Tarts
*Cake mix
*Pudding (every single one in my pantry, chocolate, vanilla, banana cream - I'm a pudding lover)

That made me think of the yogurt I give to Ava, Yoplait Dora, I found they use strawberry puree for the coloring. But - I wonder if the Trix yogurt, which is very vibrant contains the dyes...

Kraft's market research in the United Kingdom has shown a "much higher interest" in food dyes than in the United States. Here, consumers are more interested in calorie, fat and sodium content, he said. So in the U.S., Kraft, Mars and others use artificial dyes, which tend to be less expensive and look more vibrant than natural colorings.Artificial food dyes, which are primarily derived from petroleum and coal tars, are a staple in breakfast cereals, snacks and soft drinks.

The good thing is Ava has never consumed a soft drink, doesn't eat candy, and those two items alone are the main culprits with these food dyes.

The American FDA say there is no evidence that food color additives cause hyperactivity or learning disabilities in children. That's fine, I'm sure that might be true, but from now on, I will switch from 'colors' goldfish to pretzel goldfish, Ava won't care. And be more vigilant about the dry snacks she eats, now that the awareness is out there. I think limiting the allowance of certain foods my kids eat that contain these dyes is reasonable, but taking them completely off of my shelves is something I won't do.

Here are the eight food dyes - Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Orange B, Red 3 and Yellow 6 - together with other additives are particularly prevalent in the cereals, candies, sodas, and snack foods pitched to kids.

Even the pancake syrup and Lipton onion soup mix in my pantry contained the 'Carmel' color dye - which gets its color from the Red 40...

Now, go to your pantry and check it out!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hell Froze Over!!

Brrrrrrrrrrr. Ahhhhhhhhhh.

Monday, June 2, 2008

I'm In Hell

Seriously. I know what it would feel like to enter Hell. Do you know why?? Because our air conditioner decided to STOP FUNCTIONING. I want to type every cuss word in the book, I am so hot and sweaty. It's hard to take a breath it's so flippin' hot. There are two hillbilly babies wandering around the house with no clothes on, just diapers and sweaty heads. Ava has sweat beads on her nose. Grace's hair is wet. Seriously. Why does terrible heat make me want to cuss and yell and get Terry's trimmer out because I'm DYING to shave the cats. I know they are hot, it would only help them. Although Slippers is an idiot and sleeping in the boiling rays of sun on a scorching dark leather chair. Does she enjoy being hotter than fire?

Dear Lord, please grant Terry the wisdom to fix this bullshit before tonight or I will... I suppose I shouldn't curse during a prayer. But come on! Who can sleep in this kind of heat? Besides Slippers?

Hillbilly babies.
Max and Ruby help them forget about the sweat running down their bodies.

Slippers ankle is on fire, she has no idea.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

*Sex And The City*

I was not one of those die-hard Sex And The City fans. I was never totally addicted to the show when it was on, nor was I part of the weekly SATC/wine night the majority of my girlfriends were a part of. I was lucky to catch it if I remembered it was on. That doesn't mean I didn't think the show was funny and exciting. It also doesn't mean that over the last 4 years I haven't seen every episode. Great clothes, fancy jewelry, NYC, beautiful women, hot guys... it wasn't hard to convince me to see The Movie. Girlfriends everywhere got together Friday and Saturday night, dined on fancy 'hor dourves, enjoyed expensive dinners, drank the famous alcoholic beverage that the show made a house hold name, all before heading to the theater. What makes that the right way to celebrate and socialize before viewing the movie? Me and my girlfriends, for instance, did things a little differently. We dined on raw oysters, fried shrimp, and cold beer. That's the way to do it! Right girls?!

Liz, me and Amber finished dinner then were off to the new theater in Cedar Park, which btw, had the most comfortable seats on earth. Liz's friend Crystal caught up with us right after we'd purchased pickles/M&M's/popcorn/drinks/ all the goodies you need for movie watching. We made it a point to arrive well before the show started for decent seats, and decent seats there were... we were middle front center and by the time the movie started, the place was full! I'm no movie critic, and did not enter the theater with great expectations, and my review was simple. The movie was..........exceptional. I thought it was fabulously made. All 4 of us, the entire theater laughed outloud at least two dozen times, clapped, cheered, and cried just the same. It was hilariously written, it was not far fetched, which is what I was afraid of, it was real and believable. LOVE LOVED IT!

Spending time with my girlies was the best part. Thanks for the invite ladies!